Can an employer require an employee to use paid time off during an FMLA leave?

Yes. The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for their own serious health condition, among other things. While an employer is not required to pay employees for a leave under the FMLA, they may require employees on leave to use their paid time off during the leave. This does not extend the time of the FMLA leave. Rather, the paid time off will run concurrently with the leave until one or both expires. If the paid time off runs out before the FMLA leave expires, then the remainder of the leave will be unpaid in most circumstances. Employers should be sure to designate the FMLA leave as early as possible even if it means making a provisional designation.

Terri Imbarlina Patak